Hosted by the Media & Communications discipline at The University of Sydney and the Critical Digital Infrastructures and Interfaces group at Deakin University, The ICA Post Conference 2024 will explore digital sovereignty through a range of inclusive and decolonial approaches to digital platform policy and governance, along with global perspectives on human rights, state power and territoriality under various digital sovereignty regimes.
The ICA is currently inviting participants to submit a 500-word abstract on topics that fall within the scope of platforms and infrastructure in a global context.
Selected participants will be invited to present their work at the post-conference and to submit their papers to a special issue of Policy & Internet Journal.
Submissions should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org by 15 February 2024.
Digital sovereignty refers to a countries’ autonomy and control over its digital data, systems and infrastructures. It is a term that has been deployed widely—by liberal states to assert citizens’ rights over the data they produce and by authoritarian states to justify surveilling and controlling their populations. At the same time, flows and forms of digital life offer new constructions of territoriality, governance, and identity, on more personal and humanistic terms.
Recent geopolitical crises necessitate a re-thinking of digital sovereignty and its implications for digital policy and international affairs. In contemporary armed conflicts, like in the case of Russia’s war against Ukraine, where battles unfold across all layers of the digital communication spectrum, control over digital data flows has become a key strategic objective. In this context, digital sovereignty can be used to justify policies that facilitate the expansion of state power beyond established territorial borders.
At the same time, how critical socio-technical systems are governed and by whom also determines experiences of digital sovereignty. UNESCO’s 2023 Internet for Trust report calls for the inclusion of diverse perspectives in the global governance of digital platforms. While this recommendation is admirable, it remains unclear how it can be achieved in practice. As we have seen from the last twenty years of internet research, well-meaning governance principles often lack meaningful consultation with the Global South and can be derailed by market forces. Moreover, the continued decentralisation of key internet technologies and postcolonial data practices suggest sovereigns might be reconfiguring away from statist assumptions.
This post-conference hopes to bring together interdisciplinary perspectives to assess how new actors, technologies and global power struggles have shaped the discourses, architectures, and practices through which nation-states exercise and experience digital sovereignty.
The University of Sydney/Hybrid
Wednesday, 26 June, 2024
The University of Sydney Camperdown campus is located walking distance from Sydney’s central station and CBD. There are numerous hotel and public transport options available around the campus.
This post-conference is organised by:
Joanne Gray (The U of Sydney)
Olga Boichak (The U of Sydney)
Jonathon Hutchinson (The U of Sydney)
Siva Vaidhyanathan (The U of Virginia)
Admire Mare (The U of Johannesburg)
Luke Heemsbergen (Deakin U)
Toija Cinque (Deakin U)